While most Americans were hoping to focus all their sports fanaticism towards Week 2 of the NFL season, Chael Sonnen and his post-UFC 117 drug screening had other ideas. For you fan boys that think you’re at a loss for words, imagine how Octagon president Dana White feels after watching another one of his prominent employees get busted for (allegedly) using performance-enhancing drugs.
“What else do I do?” White rhetorically asked Yahoo! Sports. “We’ve spent millions of dollars – literally, millions of dollars – to try to get this thing regulated so they can be tested by the government. Do you know how much it costs us to put on that fighter seminar every year? Let me tell you, we’re bringing guys in from all over the world. We have guys from England, Germany, Croatia, Australia, Korea. We have 350 guys under contract and they’re coming from all over the world.
“It costs us a (expletive) ton, but we do it because it’s important.”
Nobody has worked as hard as White to legitimize the sport of mixed martial arts over the last decade. So if anyone has the right to be irked, it’s him. While he has the credentials and clout to drop the hammer on the culprits, the brash promoter was rather sympathetic to what his fighters are forced to deal with.
“When one of them fails a test, the government is going to fine them and suspend them and tell them they can’t make a living for a year. So should I come in after they’ve already lost the ability to make a living for a year and been fined all this money and, in the worst economic disaster in the history of the world, fine them another huge amount and take away their ability to make a living even longer?
“These are guys with homes and families and personal lives and bills and debts and obligations, just like me and you,” White said. “After they lost all this money already, money that, A, they’ve probably already spent and B, which they owe taxes, do I fine them another huge amount? What else do you do to a human being?”
Sonnen dominated middleweight king Anderson Silva for 23 minutes and 10 seconds last month at UFC 117. Although he allowed the opportunity of a lifetime to slip through his fingers and wrap around his neck for a triangle-armbar submission loss, Octagon brass felt his pre-fight comedy tour and performance in Oakland, California warranted an immediate mulligan.
With Sunday’s turn of events, it’s unknown how Sonnen’s top contender status will be affected. Las Vegas was rumored to host the highly anticipated rematch on February 5th during Super Bowl weekend, but Sonnen is now facing a 9-12 month suspension courtesy of his (alleged) mishap.